You may have heard about the truck driver shortage in Europe. While shortages on shelves across the Atlantic have been grabbing headlines, you may not realize the U.S. has been suffering from a lack of drivers for some time.
The U.S. trucking industry struggles to recruit enough people. When it recruits people, it struggles to retain them. While the freight industry needs to address the issue, some of the suggested measures are worrying. One suggestion is to lower the age at which people can drive a truck to 18 years old.
If you have a teenage child who wants to get their car license, you are probably already concerned for their safety due to the high teenage crash rate. The thought of letting them loose behind the wheel of a truck is even scarier. Driving any vehicle safely takes experience and maturity. Driving one with 18 wheels requires even more because the consequences of making a mistake are even higher.
Truck driver working conditions increase crash risk
The Next Generation in Trucking is an industry-led non-profit aiming to persuade high school kids that trucking is a good career choice. If this were true, there would not be a shortage of drivers.
Poor pay, long hours and unrealistic schedules cause many truckers to quit. They understand that current working conditions are not only unenjoyable, but they are dangerous. Freight companies persuaded the government to relax controls on working hours. Now they can push drivers to drive further and longer with fewer breaks.
If a trucker injures you, understanding more about the pressures they face can help you pinpoint why they crashed into you. Inexperience may be an issue, yet so may fatigue, stress, overwork, or pressure to deliver on time.